Alton’s Broiled & Butterfly Chicken

Truth to be told, my motivation for trying out recipes is actually cooking for Pat. There’s just something about a loved one eating something you labored for that makes it sooo so rewarding. Initially, I didn’t dare to venture onto recipes on my own. I would skim recipes off from my sister who is half way across the planet but there still wasn’t variety for a weekly dinner rotation.

Frankly, roasting a whole bird or any hunk of meat scares me. It’s like putting a tray of 20 bucks into the oven hoping it doesn’t come out like a piece of leather. I’ve tried roasting a chicken before, the traditional way with the trussing and basting and it was so much work and time in the oven. The calculation of cook time, constant probing of the thermometer wasn’t worth the effort cause half the time, the breast wasn’t fully cook and the thighs are already done.

I was browsing Good Eats (if you never heard it before, go watch!) and saw Alton’s method of a roast chicken and decided to try it. The choice of chicken is important – you will want to use a fryer chicken (1-2kg) instead of any of the traditional roast chicken which is heavier. This allows for a short cooking time and good to feed 2 with minimal leftovers. Also, the skin is CRISPY – something I absolutely love about a roast.

Also, you can make a sauce from the chicken fat but I would just skip it because it doesn’t come out the nice gravy taste. So I use McCormick Roast Gravy for Chicken. Also, you can learn how to butterfly a chicken here.

Pat always look forward to this because he loves watching me struggle butterflying the chicken.. And guess what Pat just asked for this Christmas when we head to Toronto to visit his parents.

Alton’s Broiled and Butterflied Chicken

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 50 mins

Yield: 1 Damn good roast chicken

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons of Parsley, chopped
1 lemon, zested
Extra virgin olive oil
Onions, carrots and celery cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces
3 to 4-pound broiler/fryer chicken, butterflied

Steps

Whatever you do, get everything ready before you work on that bird. Raw chicken all over your things and kitchen counter is just NASTY.
  1. Position your oven rack to the lowest or the second lowest height and turn on your broiler to high.
  2. Crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground.
  3. Add garlic, salt, parsley and work well. Add lemon zest and work just until you can smell lemon. Add just enough oil to form a paste. Set aside
  4. Add your vegetables into a roasting pan. You can use a roasting rack instead but those things are hard to wash with pieces of skin usually stuck on them. The veg will act as a bed for easier clean up and help add flavour.
  5. Butterfly your chicken. Loosen the skin at the neck and the edges of the thighs. Evenly distribute half of the garlic mixture under the skin.
  6. Flip the bird over and rub the remaining mixture on the bone side of the bird.
  7. Flip the bird over (skin side up) and pour some oil on your hands. Gently oil and work it over the chicken skin.
  8. Lay the chicken, skin side down on to the bed of veg AND WASH THOSE FILTHY HANDS BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE!
  9. Pop the roasting pan into the oven and set the timer for 25 mins. Leave the door ajar and go have a drink(if you do not have plastic stove knobs in direct line).
  10. Once 25 mins is up, using a paper towel, flip the bird over by gripping the drumsticks stubs. Set the timer for another 25 mins. Meanwhile, get a colander and place it in a mixing bowl (to serve as a drip pan). I will sit around the oven for this because some boilers heat is not totally even, you will get some spots darker than the rest. So I always watch it and shift the pan around so it gets an even brown all over.
  11. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and poke your instant read thermometer into the thigh and breast to make sure it reads at least 160F and juices run clear. If no, stick it back in.
  12. If yes, place move the chicken by holding onto the drumstick stubs onto the colander and cover loosely with aluminum foil to rest.
  13. Meanwhile, get your sauce from the instant mix ready.
  14. Cut your chicken and serve!

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

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Pepperoni Pizza Pull Apart Bread

Summer’s a peak time for parties and get together. Usually, this is when the grill gets abused massively and while it is common to bring something grilled for gatherings + camping, you can be overdosed in char quite a bit.

It is my unwritten rule NEVER to turn up empty handed. True that if I were the one hosting, I don’t need anyone to bring anything but it usually helps to grease the host a little and perfect opportunity to fish for compliments feedback.

This pizza pull apart bread is so soft and it is PERFECT for a gathering. Who doesn’t love pizza and when you can tear it off …. with the cheese stringing along for dear life – that’s foodporn.

I brought this to an engagement party and it was a huge hit!

Try this and you won’t regret.

Pepperoni Pizza Pull Apart Bread

Prep time: 2.5 hours

Cook Time: 1/2 hour

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

      Dough

  • 2¾ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni

Steps

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 1¾ cups of bread flour with sugar, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and yeast, and stir to mix. In a small saucepan heat milk and butter over low heat until butter is just melted, then set aside for 1 minute and add water. Add milk mixture to the flour and stir to combine. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. This will take a few minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and knead the dough on low for about 4-5 minutes. It will still be slightly sticky but resist adding more flour.
  2. Set dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel, then set in a warm place to rise for one hour. After one hour, punch the dough down and either refrigerate for later/tomorrow use, or use it now. Lightly flour your workspace and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a giant rectangle. Combine butter and minced garlic and spread evenly on rolled out dough. Spread pizza sauce on top of that, and sprinkle evenly with pepperoni and cheese.
    1. If you’re leaving the dough overnight, take it out and let it come to room temperature before rolling, this helps it easier to roll.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  4. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 even strips. Then slice the dough from left to right into 6 even stripes to yield squares.
  5. Lightly flour a 9x 5″ loaf pan and inclined it slightly on the short edge. This helps you to stack the squares neatly and to trim the squares if required
  6. Carefully, place each square on the plan, with the toppings facing up. Trim off any excess and combine them to other squares that fall short so they look kinda even. Doesn’t have to be neat.
  7. Cover the dough with a towel and let rise for another hour.
  8.  Set the loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve with warm pizza sauce.

Recipe from Bakerita

Soft Ginger Cookies

I first made these cookies last Christmas as a gift for Pat’s parents when we flew to Toronto to spend Christmas together. It was my first time meeting them and I knew I had to bring something for them despite the re-assurance from Pat that I didn’t have to.

I made a test batch and mannn.. the house will smell like Christmas. It’s something about the ginger and cloves smell and the cold temperature outside that makes it perfect. Pair it with tea and I’m a happy girl.

So, after hand carrying them on a 5 hour flight, the cookies didn’t even last 3 days. Apparently, Pat’s father favourite cookie is Ginger cookies and Pat’s mum has a sweet tooth. Now, I understand where Pat gets his love of baked goods.

It’s still 5 months to Christmas but you don’t need an excuse for these babies.

Soft Ginger Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Yield: 28 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Additional sugar for rolling

Steps

  1. Set your oven to 350F/175C
  2. In a medium, bowl, combine flour,ginger,baking soda,cinnamon,cloves and salt. Set aside.
  3. Lay parchment paper on 2 baking sheets and set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter till smooth.
  5. Beat in egg, water and molasses until combined
  6. Gradually add the dry goods to the stand mixer bowl. Mix until just combined. There should not be excess flour seen in the bowl.
  7. Using a cookie scoop to divide the dough, scoop out a portion and roll into a ball with your palms.
  8. Pour out some sugar into a deep mug or small bowl. Swirl the cookie ball in sugar until uniformly coated.
  9. Place cookie onto baking sheet and repeat step 6-7 until all the dough is used up.
  10. Place 6 cookies per sheet and bake 2 sheets for 10-12 minutes (Mine took 12) at one time. Turn and swap the cookie trays halfway through for even baking
  11. Allow cookies to cool for awhile before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully

Recipe inspired by TasteOfHome

Can’t find the original recipe anymore.

White Berry Lemon Sangrias

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, I usually stay away from beer. It makes me really bloated and I cannot stop thinking about all the carbs. It really doesn’t take much to get me tipsy and I usually face difficulty finishing a pint. Then I realise sangrias are perfect!. Diluted by a carbonated drink, taste fruity and a little on the sweeter side, a drink cannot be more perfect than this. The thing is that, you can’t bring a pitcher when you’re camping. What’s a better way than to package them into mason jars?! Just pop the lid, add ice and your fizzy soda and you’re done!

White Berry Lemon Sangrias

Time: 10 minutes + 4hr soak time

Yield: 8, 500ml mason jars

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced (any kind)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle white wine (a dry-ish white wine is best – I like Sauvignon Blanc) (about 1/2 cup per jar)
  • ½ cup white rum, divided (1 tablespoon per jar)
  • Approx. 4 cups lemon-lime soda or sprite if you are really desperate

Steps

  1. Divide lemon slices among the eight jars, then the apples, then the strawberries and blackberries.
  2. Pour the wine (1/2 cup each) and rum (1 tablespoon each) into each jar, over the fruit.
  3. Cover each jar with a lid and screw shut.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours, or up to 12 hours.
  5. Remove from refrigerator. Add ice and pour lemon-lime soda to the top of the jar. Plop in a straw and serve.

Recipe from KitchenTreaty

Pretzel Dinner Rolls

I have always been hesitant to dabble my hands in bread recipes because of a nagging fear that I will somehow murder yeast as they are so temperature sensitive. However, I have a living bread monster (Pat) in the house and I cannot keep running to the grocery store to buy fresh bread.

So one day, I did the unthinkable and came home from grocery shopping without a single sandwich roll. I had to make something or waste another 45 mins journey to the grocery store and I remembered about this! I have to say that I cannot be more proud of myself making this.

Pat didn’t believe that I made this when he came home and insist that I had bought them. So, I made this on another occasion just to prove to him never to doubt the chef!

It has a lot of steps but your patience and hard work pays off at the end.

Pretzel Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (43-48C/110-120F is a pretty safe temperature window)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (That’s 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 12 cups water
  • slightly more than 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Steps

  1. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should look poofy and resemble the texture of a brain. If it doesn’t, it means your yeast is old or you murdered them 😦
  3. Sieve the bread flour into another ball and combine in the salt
  4. Mix in the dry goods slowly to wet goods on low speed.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
  6. Oil a bowl with canola, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven @ 425F or 220C
  8. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Carefully add in baking soda.
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (weigh it!) and roll each into a ball. Place each piece onto the parchment-lined sheet pans (4 to a pan).
  10. Boil the rolls in the water/baking soda for 30 seconds each, moving around and splashing up onto the tops of the rolls. ( A sieve ladle works best here and the timing is crucial so one bun will not be super tan than the other)
  11. Remove from the solution and place back onto the baking sheets.
  12. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the buns liberally
  13. Use a paring knife to score a ‘X’ over the top of the bun.
  14. Bake the rolls, 1 rack at a time, for 15 mins. Turn your pan halfway through. Watch really close towards the end so that you can take it out when it is baked at your desired brownness.
  15. Let it cool before serving it along with dinner or as a sandwich bun.

Note: I reduced the amount of baking soda required for boiling because I find that the original amount leaves too strong of a taste. The original recipe calls for 3/4cup and man I felt like I was eating bread made of soap. 1/2cup worked better and I still get the brownness on the buns.

Also, if you don’t have a instant read thermometer, please invest in one! You can use it to measure your water for yeast and tell how done is your steak too (the secret to cooking your steak perfect every time, no matter the size!)

Recipe by Bakeyourday